A new study shows that after years of decline, BitTorrent usage and piracy are suddenly on the rise again. The main culprit is the fact that more and more streaming services like Netflix with exclusive content, making it very difficult for users to find the content they want, if they do not pay to subscribe to many different services at the same time.
According to Sandvine’s latest global internet report, online video accounts for 58% of all global internet traffic. Of which, Netflix alone accounted for 15% of internet data used. But another interesting statistic is that after years of decline, BitTorrent usage is on the rise again.
According to Sandvine, file sharing accounts for 3% of downstream traffic and 22% of upstream traffic of the global internet. Of which, 97% of file sharing traffic is BitTorrent. Although this platform is often used to share common data files, it is also the first choice for sharing pirated content, especially movies.
Between 2011 and 2015, BitTorrent traffic dropped dramatically. The reason is due to the emergence of streaming services, especially Netflix, with high quality and reasonable prices. Users began to switch to subscribing to these services, instead of sharing pirated content as before.
But after the success of Netflix, more and more streaming services appeared and had their own exclusive content. As a result, it is difficult for users to choose for themselves a suitable service, full of the content they are looking for.
Sandvine analyst Cam Cullen said: “We have Game of Thrones exclusive on HBO, House of Cards exclusive on Netflix, The Handmaid’s Tale exclusive on Hulu or Jack Ryan exclusive on Amazon. To be able to see all this content, users will have to spend a huge amount of money every month. So they choose to download pirated content.”
Netflix is having a headache figuring out how to handle the problem of blatantly sharing passwords between users. While more and more competing streaming services appear. Now, users are turned away to choose piracy. If no way to solve these problems can be found, it is likely that Netflix’s success will soon bloom and fade.
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